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Hot cross bun cinnamon rolls for Easter 2023: Try the recipe

In honor of Easter 2023, consider making hot cross bun cinnamon rolls. Get the recipe for these soft, fluffy, sweet treats that are a tasty option for your Easter Sunday celebration.

With Easter approaching, you may be turning your wheels over what to serve for dessert. In honor of the celebration, why not try hot cross buns?

With this dish from Elisabeth Mincin, recipe developer and food photographer for the blog Waiting for Blancmange, you can create a hybrid of hot cross buns with fan-favorite cinnamon rolls.

"These soft and fluffy hot cross bun cinnamon rolls are a twist on the British classic Easter treat. As an American with a British husband, I like to embrace both of our cultural traditions, especially at the holidays," Mincin tells Fox News Digital.


"These rolls have all the flavor of a quintessential fruit filled hot cross bun and are topped with the namesake cross pattern, made with frosting instead of the typical flour paste," she continues, adding that the buns can also be served at Easter brunch.

Serves 9

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 25 minutes

Proofing Time: 10 hours



Ingredients for the Dough

¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk, warmed to 104 °F 

2¼ teaspoons dry active yeast

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

½ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature and cut into small chunks, plus extra for greasing the bowl

Ingredients for filling:

½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed

6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened at room temperature

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

3 oz mixed dried fruit raisins, sultanas, chopped dried apricot, etc.

½ cup orange juice fresh orange juice, not from concentrate


Ingredients for frosting:

⅓ cup powdered sugar sifted if particularly lumpy

1½ teaspoons orange juice fresh orange juice, not from concentrate

Instructions for dough:

1. Begin by sprinkling the yeast and a teaspoon of the sugar into your warmed milk. Stir and set aside for about 10 minutes until the yeast has developed a foam on top.

2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, bread flour, remaining sugar and salt. Give this a quick stir.

3. Once the yeast is frothy, add this to the flour mixture, immediately followed by two full eggs and one egg white. Reserve the remaining egg yolk to make an egg wash later. (see note)

4. Turn the mixer to a low setting and knead for 15 minutes, stopping once or twice early on to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated. After 15 minutes your dough should have come together and be pulling itself from the sides of the bowl (though it will still be sticky).

5. With the mixer still on a low setting, slowly begin adding the butter a couple of bits at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, continue kneading for 15 minutes until the dough has come together again and is pulling itself away from the sides of the bowl. (see note)

6. Scrape the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to proof slowly for about 8 hours (or overnight).

Instructions for filling:

7. To prepare your filling, start by infusing the dried fruit in the orange juice. Place the fruit and juice in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring this to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure none of the fruit is sticking to the base of the pan. Once boiled, remove from the heat and leave the fruit to sit in the warm juice for about half an hour before draining and setting aside to cool (see note).

8. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, sugar and ground cinnamon until you have a smooth spreadable butter mixture.


Instructions for rolling and second proof:

9. Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper.

10. After the dough's overnight proof, turn this out onto a floured work surface and press into a rectangle. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a large rectangle, about 12" wide by 15" long.

11. Spread the butter mixture over the surface of the dough, leaving a gap around the edges. Then sprinkle with your soaked (and drained) fruits.

12. Roll the dough from the bottom to the top, forming a tight log.

13. Use flavorless dental floss or thin kitchen twine to trim the uneven and unfilled ends (about an inch or two off each end). Then divide the dough into 9 parts. Use the floss to cut your nine rolls.

14. Place these in your lined square baking pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Instructions for baking and frosting:

15. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

16. Make a quick egg wash using the reserved egg yolk and a splash of milk. Brush this over the top of your rolls once they're done with the second proof.

17. Place the rolls in the center of the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until risen and golden.

18. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow cooling for about 10 minutes while you mix together the powdered sugar and orange juice for the frosting.

19. Use a piping bag with a round nozzle (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut) to pipe the frosting in a cross pattern over the rolls. This is a simple pattern – just a line through the center of each roll, crossed with another as shown in the images.

20. Serve fresh and still warm.

This original recipe is owned by and was shared with Fox News Digital.

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